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HOLY BLOOD- Voice of Blood

And with a mighty bellow, Ukraine's folk metal heroes are rising again! It's been 5 years since the band's last full length album Day of Vengeance, which diverted from the band's signature folk metal sound for a straight forward death/ black metal soundtrack. 2 years ago, Holy Blood signed with Vision of God Records and released an EP called Glory to the Heroes, which returned the flute to its rightful place among Holy Blood's armory of instruments. Voice of Blood very much continues in the same theme and sonic textures as the Glory to the Heroes EP began.

The cover of Voice of Blood is a full scale battleground and clues us in on some of the subject matter we will hear this time around. The packaging on this album came out beautifully, especially on the band's very first vinyl output, which is available in 5 different marbled colors. Voice of Blood is all about duty to God and country (in this case- Ukraine) and sacrificing all for freedom. "Genesis 4.10" opens the album with a brief intro, before the metal begins in earnest. The music falls into a thrash or power metal vein, led by the deep growling of Fedor, with a prominent bass line, and the speedy drumming of Slava Malinin (Angel7), and the flute and chanting bgv's playing counterpoint to the metal, like a songbird singing and flitting about, oblivious to the large predator making its way noisily through the forest below. A violin makes an appearance on "We Know Who We Are" and the fabulous instrumental "Beginning of the Revival of the Kievan Rus," adding yet another layer of depth to the performance. The album grows stronger throughout. In "The Smile of the Cossack" you can hear the vibration of the distorted bass in the beginning of the song. "Yes! Let It Be" hits fast and hard, and then the aptly named instrumental "Freedom" closes this all too short disc on a high note, displaying the only real guitar solos on the album. Folk metal seems like such a niche market, but in spite of an ever changing cadre of band members, Fedor Buzilevich displays a mastery of the style like no one else. (Vision of God Records) 4 out of 5 stars

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